Does Airsoft Hurt? A Guide to Pain Levels, Injuries, & Safety

So, do airsoft guns hurt? Well, yes and no! It depends on where you get hit and the type of clothing you are wearing.

A common question by those new to airsoft is whether or not being hit by a BB from an airsoft gun can hurt. Airsoft pellets can indeed cause some discomfort when they hit, but it’s not as bad as you might think.

The level of pain felt can vary based on numerous factors, such as the distance from which the shot was fired, the velocity of the pellet, and the area of impact. If you’re interested in playing airsoft but want to know what to expect in terms of pain levels, you’re in the right place.

We’re going to talk about all things airsoft pain and how to reduce it.

Are Airsoft Guns Dangerous
Does Airsoft Hurt? A Guide to Pain Levels, Injuries, & Safety

Does Airsoft Hurt?

As with any physical activity, there’s always a risk of injury. But, when it comes to airsoft, the pain factor is usually minimal

Honestly, you’re more likely to sustain more of an injury from running around the site than by getting hit by a pellet.

Airsoft pellets are designed to be non-lethal and have a low-impact force. In fact, the UK legal limit for airsoft guns is around 1.3 joules of energy.

How Powerful is an Airsoft Gun?

Airsoft guns vary in power depending on the type and modifications made. 

Generally, they’re designed to shoot non-lethal plastic BBs at speeds ranging from 200 to 400 feet per second (fps). However, some high-end models can exceed 500 fps.

The power of an airsoft gun also depends on the type of gas or battery used to power it. 

Gas-powered guns tend to have higher fps than electric guns due to the pressurised gas releasing more energy with each shot. However, electric guns can still pack a punch with their rapid-fire capabilities.

Getting hit with a BB pellet at 200 fps can sting and cause minor bruising, while being hit at 400 fps can leave welts and potentially break skin. This is why safety gear, such as goggles and face masks, is crucial when playing airsoft.

Can Airsoft Guns Kill
Does Airsoft Hurt? A Guide to Pain Levels, Injuries, & Safety

What Injuries Can Airsoft Cause?

The most common injuries sustained in airsoft matches include minor bruises, welts, and scratches. These can occur anywhere on the body.

However, these injuries are usually superficial and heal quickly. As long as you wear appropriate protective gear and follow safety guidelines during gameplay, the risk of serious injury is low.

The top 6 most painful places to get shot with a BB pellet:


  1. Face
  2. Neck
  3. Knuckles
  4. Inner thigh
  5. Ankles
  6. Buttocks

How to Reduce Airsoft Pain

Now that you know that getting hit by airsoft pellets doesn’t hurt as much as you might think, let’s talk about how you can reduce any discomfort you may feel during gameplay. 

Here are our top tips for reducing airsoft pain…

For more in-depth information, check out our tips on how to avoid common airsoft injuries. 

Are Airsoft Guns Dangerous?

Airsoft guns are generally not dangerous

At most, they may leave a mark when shot at inadequately protected skin, but the pain inflicted is incredibly brief, like a small sting, thanks to the material they’re made from. Any small marks on exposed skin should fade within a few hours or a few days if you’re hit with a nastier shot.

Airsoft Protective Gear
Does Airsoft Hurt? A Guide to Pain Levels, Injuries, & Safety

The most serious injury that you could sustain from an airsoft gun is taking an airsoft bullet to the eye. This can cause serious eye damage, including temporary sight loss. Under the right circumstances, a freak accident can cause permanent sight damage.

This is why we recommend wearing eye protection when playing airsoft, like goggles, glasses or full-face masks.

Airsoft, like many other activities, is only dangerous when done recklessly. Always remember to follow basic safety precautions and guidelines when shooting your airsoft gun, such as never pointing your gun at anyone who is not wearing proper protective gear and using appropriate airsoft bullets

Different airsoft sites will also have their own rules and regs, which should be communicated to you before you begin playing.

You should also make sure you’re always up to date with the latest legislation surrounding the use of airsoft guns to help avoid any issues, and make sure your weapons are well maintained to ensure they function properly.

Does Airsoft Hurt
Does Airsoft Hurt? A Guide to Pain Levels, Injuries, & Safety

Can Airsoft Guns Kill?

Airsoft guns do not have the power to kill someone. Even at close range, airsoft pellets are not capable of causing lethal damage

However, it’s important to remember that whilst airsoft guns may not be lethal, they can still cause harm if used irresponsibly or without appropriate safety precautions and airsoft laws.

Airsoft guns can also be modified fairly easily to increase the power and velocity of the weapon, which can increase the stinging sensation when you’re shot – but it doesn’t mean the weapon becomes deadly.

With that being said, there are some modifications for certain replica firearms that have the potential to turn the airsoft weapon into an actual firearm. These conversion kits can create very powerful, deadly guns that are illegal to own in the UK.

It’s always best to play within the legal limits and with proper safety gear to prevent any accidents or harm and to test your gun at an enclosed firing range before heading out on a skirmish.

Can Airsoft Guns Cause Damage to Small Animals?

Yes! Airsoft guns are generally powerful enough to cause significant damage to small animals like birds, rats, squirrels, and rabbits. Unmodified airsoft guns aren’t powerful enough to inflict fatal wounds to these animals.

Airsoft guns should never be used in attempted pest control as they will only cause suffering and serious injuries

Using an airsoft weapon on an animal is classed as animal cruelty, and you may be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act (2006).
Airsoft Safety Rules Guidelines
Does Airsoft Hurt? A Guide to Pain Levels, Injuries, & Safety

The Verdict: Does Airsoft Hurt?

So, does airsoft hurt? Getting occasionally hurt is part and parcel of airsoft. While no one enjoys getting shot with airsoft BBs, it’s something you get used to. 

Whether your airsoft replicas are powered by green gas, compressed air, or spring-loaded, getting shot on bare skin or at point-blank range isn’t nice.

You should always be responsible with your airsoft weapons, wear appropriate protective gear, and stay alert. If you follow these simple safety measures, you can enjoy airsoft with minimal pain and maximum fun.

Check out our blog for more tips and advice about getting involved in airsoft in the UK.


How Powerful is an Airsoft Gun?

An airsoft gun’s power can vary depending on the model and type of propellant used, such as green gas, compressed air, or spring. Typically, airsoft guns have a velocity ranging from 200 to 600 feet per second.

What Kinds of Airsoft Guns Hurt the Most?

Airsoft guns powered by compressed air tend to cause the most discomfort and pain due to their higher velocity compared to spring-loaded or green gas-powered guns. The impact from a compressed air gun can be more intense, resulting in a sharper sting upon impact.

Can Airsoft Guns Kill?

No, airsoft guns do not have the power to kill someone. Even at close range, airsoft pellets are not capable of causing lethal damage. However, irresponsible use or lack of safety precautions can still cause harm, so it’s important to always remain responsible with your airsoft equipment.

Does Airsoft Feel Like a Bee Sting?

Airsoft can indeed feel like a bee sting to some extent. In our experience, the sensation is often a quick, sharp sting or pinch upon impact. While the pain level varies from person to person, the feeling is generally tolerable and short-lived, similar to a bee sting.

Are Airsoft Guns Safe for 13-Year-Olds?

Airsoft guns can be safe for 13-year-olds when used properly under adult supervision and with appropriate protective gear. It is crucial to follow safety guidelines. Teaching responsible gun handling and emphasising respect for rules and others are essential for ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for young users.